Thursday, March 31, 2011

Farewell to March

I cannot decide if March is exiting like a lamb or a lion, but I do know the month was not very spring-like. It was more like January with lots of snow, sunny skies and very cold temperatures. We had our largest snowfall of the year one week ago and it has not melted under the arctic high pressure mass. But a full week of sunshine is always welcome, even if winter coats and mittens are needed.
Mrs. Northern Cardinal looking for handouts
I walked along a trail in a city park when I got out of work the day after the big storm. People put generous amounts of bird seed on platforms and feeders along the boardwalk each day and the birds are used to their human benefactors.

No food for Mr. Cardinal
 I usually have seeds in my coat pocket but had put on a warmer coat this day with empty pockets. Surprisingly, all the bird feeders were empty and either no one had come out in the snow, or the birds had eaten everything in an effort to keep warm.

My first Song Sparrow of the season
I was literally mobbed by Chickadees and even the more cautious birds watched me expectantly from nearby shrubs. I had nothing to offer them and felt like I had invited guests but had not prepared a meal. The park has plenty of natural food sources but these birds are accustomed to finer fare.

American Tree Sparrow
I returned on Friday afternoon and again, the feeders were empty. This time I was prepared with plenty of peanuts and black sunflower seeds. Now here is a happy group of birds!

Red-breasted Nuthatch
Song Sparrow
We have American Robins all over the neighbourhood and the cold weather has kept them from digging in lawns for worms and grubs. They gather in groups around crabapple and mountain ash trees which still have frozen fruit hanging from bare branches and clean them off in a few hours. These Robins were looking for fallen fruit in the snow.

Daffodil shoots in the foreground
From a bird's point of view, March has been a lion for most of the month. But they greet each cold dawn with spring songs because winter will not last forever.


  1. With the skiff of snow that fell last night, March is going out like a lion. The warm days are trying to melt the stubborn snow. This time of year we have to be patience, especially when we get teased with some nice days. Great to see a song sparrow though. I like the pose of Mrs. Cardinal hiding behind the branches. Spring will be soon and before we know it we will be experiencing hot, humid weather.

  2. Temperature wise,we are seeing March go out like a lion.I still would prefer warmer days,but they will come.Those really were waiting for a handout.

  3. It sure has been slow to warm up, and I don't see any predicted highs above 7 for the next week.

  4. That last Robin looks to be begging pretty hard for those seeds in your pocket.

    I can't tell if it's lion or lamb in S TX. But at home I heard it was going to be 93 today, that's an awful early summer for there.

    What's normal about weather?

  5. Hi Ruth, I enjoyed the walk and visits with the birds. When I refill our feeders, the sparrows, juncos, cardinals, chicadees will come in, but surprisingly not as long as I remain nearby. I would have thought they would be used to their benefactor by now. Your are much friendlier it seems. Great portraits!

  6. March is unpredictable here in Quebec. Last year there was no snow. This year average. But at least it's melting.

    Your bird photos are fabulous! I heard robins in the trees yesterday for the first time. Couldn't spot them, but I know they are there.

  7. I'm sure the birds were delighted that you came back with the snacks. Lovely photos of the birds. We're having March winds and icy weather today. Our lion is not gone yet!

  8. Ruth, what a great post! So sunny and colorful, even if it was cold!


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